250th Anniversary of Captain Cook's Voyage aboard HMS
This year is the 250th anniversary of Captain Cook's voyage of
discovery aboard HMS Endeavour and Royal Mail will be marking this event
with a set of new stamps and mini sheet due out on 16th August 2018.
At Ridgewood, we have decided to mark this event with a limited edition
Themed Smilers sheet and Smilers souvenir First Day Cover and are pleased
to announce the following new Themed Sheet design and First Day Cover
postmarked Plymouth and dated 16th August 2018.
Both are available to purchase on-line by clicking either
of the above images, or you can pre-order by sending me an e-mail
with your requirements. Due to existing holiday arrangements (which my
wife tells me I cannot change) I will not be able to dispatch them until
first week in September so you can delay payment if you wish until last
week in August. Our prices for these collectibles are £37.50 per full
sheet of 20 stamps/labels, £20 per half sheet and £5.95 per cover which
comes with an illustrated insert card containing further details of
Captain Cook's voyage on HMS Endeavour. All prices include p+p.
Jersey Holidays for Heroes Commemorative Sheet
Whilst the news for customised stamp sheet collectors is less than
heartening on the mainland with the cessation of the Business Customised
and Personalised Stamp Sheet services, news from the islands is more optimistic!
Jersey Post have just announced a new commemorative sheet to celebrate the
10th anniversary of local charity, Holidays for Heroes Jersey.
"This fantastic charity provides free holidays in Jersey for
members of HM Armed Forces injured during their service. Made up of twenty
UK Letter stamps affixed to stamp labels, the sheet features photographs
showing some of the charity’s fundraising activities as well as families
enjoying their Jersey holidays."
We will be stocking this sheet, priced £25.00, so if interested please
e-mail me in the first instance. (17/07)
The Last Business Customised Smilers at STAMPEX?
The Philatelic Traders Society (PTS) look like being the source of the
last Business Customised Stamp Sheet from the Royal Mail following the latter's
announcement earlier this year that the service would close at the end of
The PTS have recently announced a stunning new Smilers sheet which will
be on sale at the 2018 Autumn STAMPEX event and which could prove popular
as a nostalgic memento of STAMPEX Smilers sheets past and present.
The preliminary catalogue reference for this sheet is
BC-514 which will sadly close a chapter on this aspect of the Smilers
story. Over 500 different designs have emerged since their launch in 2002
with just a handful giving rise to perforation and printing varieties for
the faithful to chase down. Some are so rare that only a very few seem to
have survived and found their way to the collector market (Portsmouth
FC). The story continues in the shape of Royal Mail's so-called commemorative
sheets which by any measure are nothing more than home-grown business
customised sheets - a case of game-keeper turned poacher perhaps!
Personalised Smilers Service to the Public to Close
Whilst on holiday recently I received an e-mail from Royal Mail
containing the following announcement:
"The personalised Smilers® service is going to be put on hold
for an indefinite period from this summer as we launch a new online shop.
Consumers will not be able to order personalised Smilers® sheets when the
new web platform goes live until further notice.
We are introducing a web platform this summer which will
significantly improve customers’ user experience and in preparing the
migration to the new website we have reviewed the range of online products
and services that we offer. Following this review we have taken the
decision not to migrate the Personalised Smilers® service to the new shop
when it goes live at the end of July.
The last date for consumer orders for Smilers will be 5pm on
Thursday 26th July 2018.
Whilst we will not offer the Smilers® service online or to the
public we are retaining the print capability for personalised stamp sheets
for Corporate purposes, Key Accounts and other business requirements so we
will be able to continue to process any orders you may have."
Whilst I am not entirely surprised at this development I was surprised
to learn that they would continue to be available to Key Account
customers, i.e. the philatelic trade. I think we can consider this
an interim arrangement which goes someway to make up for the loss of the
Business Customised stamp sheets service but depending upon interest from
the philatelic trade I can't see this continuing for very
Apparently, the cost of migrating the Smilers service from one web
platform to the other outweighed the commercial benefit to Royal Mail.
Business speak for "they are not that popular any more and it's not
worth us spending money on something that does not make a big
profit." That's privatised business for you! (13/07)